On the 28th of May 2015, The ROSEN Group took initiative and brought key industry stakeholders together for a roundtable event on the topic of “linear threats in pipelines”. This event was hosted at the ROSEN facility based in Gahanna, Ohio, which is established to cater to state of the art advanced services.

With over 100 attendees from throughout North America and Europe, the Mayor of Gahanna, Mrs. Rebecca Stinchcomb, opened the proceeding by recognizing the importance of the events topics and attendees, and expressed gratitude to ROSEN for basing the operations in the City of Gahanna. Mayor Stinchcomb presented the ROSEN founder and president, Mr. Hermann Rosen with a Certificate of Appreciation, hereby welcoming the group to the great city.

The roundtable event commenced with an official welcome by ROSEN Executive Vice President, Chris F. Yoxall, who emphasized the importance of “why we are here?”. This addressed the goal and set the tone for the day which was to, bring all stakeholders together, to collectively work together on common topics.

To kick off the event Chris F. Yoxall introduced the roundtable concept by saying, “I always like the analogy of a roundtable, there is no head, no decision maker, it’s about bringing together those who have a common interest in the subject focusing on the subject and collectively trying to make sure that we can move forward with our common interest. So with that we will start off the 1st presentation of the day and will get a keynote address from Mr. Hermann Rosen himself.” Following each speech, attendees had the chance to provide feedback to predetermined questions based around the topics of the presenters

Keynote address from Mr. Hermann Rosen

The Keynote address from Mr. Hermann Rosen emphasized the need of being proactive by undertaking preventative measures to mitigate or minimize the effect of consequence management. Recognizing complexity, Mr. Rosen related the human body to that of a pipeline network and without good integrity management, failures can occur with unwanted consequence.

“Whether we talk about the pipeline network, an aircraft, or the human body there are a lot of similarities. We are talking about different diameters, flow rates, gravity, pressure, debris, scale, wall thickness, as well as valves and y-pieces, reductions, lifetime, etc. There is a lot in common, if the integrity of such a system fails to due blockage, leakage, or rupture, this will cause a disaster, for example a heart attack.”

Appreciating this need, he recognized that there are three groups of stakeholders, each having accountability, Mr. Rosen named: those involved in generating rules or the settings, the operators, and those proving technologies or services. In the short term, these groups are all driven by performance indicators, while in the mid-term there has been more of a direction towards better alignment, still needing much improvement, driven by a common demand for technology. In the long-term, there is a need for more alignment driven by cooperation, this is needed to achieve the ultimate no incident industry objective.

Mr. Rosen concluded that this is why we need events like the round table; bringing together these groups and working for the long term needs. Answering the question of what needed to be done, Hermann Rosen said we needed: “Pro-active Management and Collaboration of [all] Stakeholders to avoid Consequence Management”.

Following speakers

The keynote speech by Mr. Rosen set the expectations for the following speakers. Mr. Steve Nanney, representing PHMSA, spoke on behalf of the regulatory environment, reflecting upon past incidents and the effect they have on rule making and recommendations. His presentation generated questions pertaining to some of the future rules that may be introduced including the Integrity Verification Process, as well as the need for hydro testing at 1.25 X MAOP.

Stuart Saulters, representing the American Petroleum Institute ( API), followed Steve’s discussion and spoke about the strategic initiatives being undertaken by API. Mr. Saulters referenced the standards which relate in particular to the topic of addressing linear threats, API6. RP 117.

David Chittick, Director of Pipeline Engineering from TransCanada Pipelines (TCPL) gave an operators’ historic overview keeping a perspective of technology & standards, management systems, and improved culture. Mr. Chittick reflected upon all the different efforts undertaken by TCPL over the last 3 decades, emphasizing the importance of reliable and accurate technology to support the decisions being made by operators. He also recognized that all stakeholders need to be fully committed to achieving the long term needs.

TCPL over the last 3 decades, emphasizing the importance of reliable and accurate technology to support the decisions being made by operators. He also recognized that all stakeholders need to be fully committed to achieving the long term needs.

Thomas Beuker’s (ROSEN Corporate Marketing Director) presentation followed, and complimented David Chittick’s presentation discussing the understanding of big data. Thomas provided an overview on the process associated with advanced analytics keeping the need for dynamic learning, accuracy & confidence and prediction in focus. Data gathering capabilities are growing exponentially and the importance of being able to manage this accordingly, needs to be understood.

Mr. Beuker gave a historic overview of the process and expectations, and how this remains fundamental of today. However, today’s capabilities make more data available offline, allowing for more support in the interpretation process. IT changes outside the ILI tool are also require to support today’s big ‘data’. This includes remote control, which offers scalable storage globally to remotely access data in shorter time frames, allowing for quicker decisions to be made.

Rounding out the event, Dr. Brian Leis summarized the presentations and provided some final thoughts. His observations included:

  • Blunt vs. Sharp (planar vs. volumetric)
  • Quantification of the size? Or the shape?
  • The failure process and implications of collapse versus fracture control
  • Understanding the importance of balancing conservatism with accurate models

He concluded with recognizing industry gaps and industry needs encouraging big picture thinking and emphasizing that cooperation by all stakeholders is a key parameter to the way forward.

The event was concluded with a townhall innovation and experience poster session allowing attendees to network and discuss topics with members from the Innovation Center in Lingen Germany. ROSEN also had a wide range of tools on display (both EMAT and UT technologies) allowing attendees to get an overview of technologies available to support the advanced services offered addressing the topic of linear threats.

Congratulations to all involved in preparing for this event and achieving the expectations that have been set. More information sharing and feedback will be forthcoming.